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TR4A
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Joined: Apr 13, 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Best hardware set up advice Reply with quote Back to top

Hi,
I presently have 2 Vonage lines set up like this:

Cable Modem (Toshiba Pcx 2500) > Vonage Adapter #1 (RTP300) > Vonage Adapter #2 (RTP300) > Wireless Router (WTR54G) > PC

The internet / e-mail occasionally slows down or stops altogether when talking on the phone, or the audio over the Voip is garbled.

I have 2 computers, one is a desk top and the other a wireless laptop (which can be connected via the LAN if necessary).

I have had this setup in place for a few years now and would like to update it and reduce the number of devices. What is the best setup to achieve this. Is the new V-portal device the answer? Can it connect up more than one computer? Can I use my existing WRT54G router or will I notice a marked improvement in wireless signal strength with a new router?

Also my second line is primarily used as a fax line. Being it is a 212 exchange I wanted to keep it, but can barely justify the cost since I hardly ever use it. Is there a way I can receive the occasional fax on my primary line?

Thanks in advance,
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butterman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The first thing you could do is to move both Vonage lines so a single device. This will reduce devices by one.

Its getting harder to find more than the V-Portal these days which makes an all-in-one device hard.

Depending on your cable service an active phone connection will slow down internet and email.

If I were you I would consolidate to 1 RTP300 and then choose another main router (which I would put first in the list)

Many people here (me included) use the Linksys WRT54GL and then load 3rd party firmware on it like Tomato or DD-WRT for better QoS for phone calls as well as better wireless performance.

Not sure about using the main number as a fax line, hopefully someone else can answer that part.

_________________
Vonage Customer since: 11/2004
ISP: Time Warner (RoadRunner)
Location: NC
Network Setup: Motorola SB5101->Linksys WRT54GL (Running Tomato) ->RT31P2 & PAP2
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TR4A
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the reply but I did not quite understand what you meant by this :

"Its getting harder to find more than the V-Portal these days which makes an all-in-one device hard. "

Is there any advantage to upgrading hardware or are the extg. RTP300 adequate.

Thanks
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

RTP300s are good Vonage devices. I have its wireless-enabled sibling, the WRTP54G.

I'd put that WRT54G "out front":

Modem -> WRT54G
. WRT54G -> RTP300
. WRT54G -> RTP300
. WRT54G -> PC's (wired and wireless)

Then go in and set up the QoS on the WRT54G so the RTP300s both get priority access.

The WRT54G, even the current version, is a good router. I'm lucky enough to have an older one, which is now sold as a WRT54GL as mentioned in an earlier post. With aftermarket firmware (I use a project called "Tomato"), the router is exceptionally impressive, and you can adjust things to get better wireless signal out of it (including turning the radio power up far beyond Linksys-recommended levels, as long as you keep it in a cool place - heat is your enemy when you overdrive that radio). However, a good set of high-gain antennas will give you a similar benefit.

As mentioned earlier, you can transfer both lines to a single RTP300 if you want, as long as they are under the same Vonage account. This basically allows you to remove one of them (put it in a safe place in case your primary one gets damaged) and save a little space, a little power, and a network connection. An RTP300 is designed to handle two Vonage lines. Transferring the lines can be done on the Vonage web site, with no need to call customer service.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Now a followup on the "calls are garbled and/or Internet is slow" comment.

Run the Vonage Speed Test found on this site, or go to www.testyourvoip.com and test there. Also run a few basic speed tests like www.dslreports.com or any test you prefer.

Vonage, at normal settings, takes 90kbps of bandwidth, both up AND down, to support each active line. If your "upstream" speed is limited to, say, 128k, then you are going to have trouble supporting two Vonage lines at the same time. You basically want to have about 256k or more with two lines if you intend to use the Internet connection for anything else at the same time.

You can mitigate this by using the "bandwidth saver" feature on the Vonage web site. You can set the bandwidth to 90k, 50k, or 30k. At 50k, the call quality is pretty darned close to 90k (though you may or may not find it acceptable for your purposes), and you are using a good bit less bandwidth.

30k is somewhat lower quality, but voice can be made out clearly - just don't expect any fidelity. Using that setting, you can almost use Vonage over a dialup connection, it's so stingy on bandwidth. In fact, one of our former members did just that for a while.

To keep outbound voice quality high, use QoS to prioritize your Vonage adapters. This will mean that your Internet performance may suffer during calls if you are low on bandwidth, but your Vonage line will always be #1 in line for any outgoing packets.

http://vonage.nmhoy.net/qos.html

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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